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Beth Israel celebrates its dedication seven years after Katrina

The top of the Aron Hakodesh (holy Ark) with the Hebrew passage taken from the Song of Songs ("Mighty waters cannot extinguish our love.") Photo © Alexander Barkoff (All rights reserved. Copying is a violation of law.)

By ALAN SMASON

Seven years after swirling floodwaters from broken levees flooded its sanctuary on Canal Boulevard, Congregation Beth Israel opens its new doors to the public in a weekend of special activities designed to acknowledge the tenuous journey it has endured and to spotlight the hope and promise of...
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NOJDS opens doors for 2012-13 school year

Bob Berk, head of school for the New Orleans Jewish Day School, greets a student arrival to the campus. (Photo courtesy Laren Ungar)

As the 8 o’clock hour approached last Monday morning, Bob Berk, PhD., the head of school for the New Orleans Jewish Day School (NOJDS), girded for the first rush of cars that would deliver his new and old charges for yet another school year. He put on his broadest smile...
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Team New Orleans returns from Maccabi Games

Members of Team New Orleans and escorts pose after competition was over.

They may not have won a trove of gold, silver or bronze medals, but the 12 members of Team New Orleans representing the New Orleans Jewish Community Center at this year’s Maccabi Games in Memphis are instead carrying a lifetime of memories with them.

Accompanied by JCC sports director Josh...
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Local chef gets to meet, film with Anthony Bourdain

Jessica Wightkin, right, with TV personality Anthony Bourdain, center, and Alex del Castillo. (Photo courtesy Jessica Wightkin)(CLICK TO ENLARGE)

By ALAN SMASON

It’s not every day that one gets to meet the inspiration behind his or her career choice. Nor is it likely that when one does, it will be in front of a camera being filmed for posterity. But that’s exactly what’s been happening this past week with...
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Cantor Colman: From Fairfax to ‘Fiddler’

Colman motorcyle

By ALAN SMASON

Cantor Joel Colman, a hulking figure of a man with a deep and rich bass-baritone voice to match his size,  has been a busy bee these days. Fresh off the June summer worship services at Temple Sinai, Colman, who hails from Detroit, was invited to visit his...
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‘Dark Knight Rises’ prompts spiritual journey for Jewish fans

Zach Yanowitz

By ALAN SMASON

Until this year, when Hollywood released “The Avengers,” there had been no comic book character adapted for the screen as successful as the Batman. Making his debut in Detective Comics 73 years ago, Batman was the brainchild of Jewish illustrators Bob Kane and Bill Finger. Together they...
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Lastest information on Bulgarian bombing

Smoke rising from the Sarafovo Airport in Burgas, Bulgaria, after a terror attack on an Israeli tour bus, July 18, 2012. (Burgasinfo)

By MARCY OSTER

(JTA) – A Black Sea coast town in Bulgaria became the scene of carnage when a bus carrying Israeli tourists exploded, killing at least five people and injuring at least 33. Nine people reportedly were missing.  The explosion Wednesday at Sarafovo International Airport in Burgas hit one...
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Congregation Beth Israel Opens Its Doors

Beth Israel

Coming back from the brink of disaster, Congregation Beth Israel took its first tentative steps as Metairie’s newest Orthodox Jewish presence holding the very first minyan in its own synagogue at 4004 West Esplanade Avenue on June 29.

As Shabbat continued with Saturday morning worship services the next day, Congregation...
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When Michael Met Mildred

Mildred Covert and Michael Twitty

By ALAN SMASON

Was there ever a more improbable meeting of two Jewish culinary celebrities than that which took place last week in New Orleans? Washington, D.C. area resident Michael Twitty, an African-American Jew and authority on African and other ethnic food, came to the Big...
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Boutté headlines 21st Jazz Fest Shabbat

Boutte_John

John Boutté, a featured performer on the HBO series “Treme,” headlined the 24th annual Jazz Fest Shabbat held at Touro Synagogue on Friday, April 27.

Attendees at the historic St. Charles Avenue sanctuary filled most every seat, enjoying a memorable night of prayer and revelry that marked the first...
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